Neighbors gathering together to stand with our Black neighbors and remember George Floyd and so many lost to brutal injustice. The remarks by my friend Becky and others in attendance were thoughtful and moving. I'm committed to working on dismantling racial injustice in my community and am thankful to be connected with others who share that vision.
I used the boys' Easter tote bags to create "welcome summer!" totes which I set out for them on the first day of their summer vacation. In the totes they had new swim trunks and rash guards (I love neon ones so I can spot them easily at the pool), summer tanks, goggles, Native shoes (which seem like the perfect summer shoe), and $15 gift cards to Barnes and Noble. I also re-stocked our sunscreen with Supergoop brand which is not cheap but the quality and feel is so great. I bought more Unseen Sunscreen which I use in addition to my daily SPF moisturizer when I'll be outside for longer periods, some baby sunscreen for Maeve, and spray sunscreen for the boys.
In May I read nine books although that includes Normal People which I abandoned at 77%. Books I finished in May:
An American Wife, which was a fascinating fictionalized version of Laura Bush's life;
Euphoria, an intense book that I enjoyed about relationships, human behavior, and anthropology;
Beyond the Bright Sea, a beautiful and memorable book about the family you create – highly recommend;
Sitting Pretty, an enjoyable and thought-provoking memoir sharing the author's experience as a woman living with a disability and navigating life in a wheelchair – also highly recommend;
The Book of Lost Friends, a novel that follows characters in the South and the consequences of slavery during the two different time periods, Reconstruction and in the 1980s;
A Promised Land, the first volume of Barack Obama's memoir which I found enjoyable and fascinating;
Minor Feelings, a memoir by the poet Cathy Park Hong about her experience being Asian American and trying to understand what that identity means; and finally
Waiting for Tom Hanks, a light, rom-com book that was fine but I was ready to move on by the end.
Currently I'm listening to The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue and reading in hardback The Liar's Dictionary, which I am finding delightful.
We got some bummer news in May which is that Chris was not promoted to full professor. Unlike failing to get tenure, not being granted promotion to full professor does not change your standing with the university or current position. Chris will continue to be an associate professor and assistant dean and he can apply for full professor again in a couple of years. However, this has been an opportunity for Chris to reflect on what steps he wants to take next in his career at ASU and he's feeling excited for what's next. I'm so proud of him for turning this disappointment into something good.
Being back at High Fitness! It's the funnest and hardest workout and I probably have a big grin on my face the entire time. It has me looking forward to Monday nights and feeling sore through Wednesday. Plus I've been going with two neighbor friends and I love our carpool catch ups.
Also! My parents have had the boys for a few overnights which has meant some quiet days and evenings for Chris and me. We even had our niece come over after Maeve's bedtime and we WENT OUT. What! We went to downtown Gilbert, got ice cream, and found a quiet spot to talk and people watch. It was strange but also normal to be out among people. Of course we accidentally dressed like twins in jeans and grey tops. The next morning we took Maeve out to breakfast and strolled through the farmer's market. It feels so good to be venturing out into the world again.
Cooking + eating + drinking...
For Mother's Day we hosted a family brunch and Chris did all the cooking. At my request he made Chrissy Tiegan's French toast casserole with a salted frosted flake topping with a fruit salad and yogurt on the side. Brunch just does not get any better and I was in heaven.
Also this month I discovered the delicious non-alcoholic brews by Athletic Brewing. They are by far and away the best non-alcoholic beers I've had which is exciting. Have I mentioned that I don't drink alcohol any more? I might have a drink on rare occasions (like a glass of champagne when Biden won the presidency) but no longer have a casual beer or glass of wine. Anyway, I don't miss alcohol at all but I do enjoy the taste of beer and miss the ritual of a happy hour drink. Enter Athletic Brewing! We've had their River Wild IPA and Upside Dawn golden ale so far and really like them both. Recently I enjoyed a cold Athletic Brew along with a bowl of potato chips on the shady back porch while I read my book and it was perfection. I know what I'll be drinking this summer.
Our neighborhood school community. I'm so thankful the boys were able to finish the school year in person. I love that the boys go to school so close to home and that we've gotten to know so many families, teachers, and staff members. As we biked to school on the last day we cheered with the other families we passed, "We made it! Last day!" What an accomplishment for us all. After school we had a celebration picnic at the park with our usual park crew and I felt the joy of being together with friends. How I missed that.
I'm also thankful for my community of mama friends right on my street. We had a surprise baby shower brunch for one of the gals on our street, our first time to be all together since our brunch in February 2020, and it was a delight. How lucky to find friends and friends for our kids right outside our front doors!
What the boys are into...
Cedric is a diligent artist and recently did a morning portrait series with pictures of Chris, Maeve, and me. He can often be found at the breakfast table lost in his paper and markers. I am also so impressed at Cedric's interest in exercise! He loves to design workout circuits for himself and go for short runs to the park and back. One afternoon he wanted to listen to music in the front room by himself and do exercises! Cedric is also still passionate about basketball and I am so excited for him to finally get to play on a team this fall. He was supposed to get to play on a team when he started kinder but we had to postpone.
Dash was excited to spend his saved money this month on a microphone that can play music via bluetooth. He's our kid who loves getting new things whereas Cedric loves to save. Both boys have been very enthusiastic about playing pass with Chris in front of our house. Casual street baseball games have been happening a lot in the early evening with neighbor friends and Dash has been loving that. A neighbor also hosted a rock-paper-scissors tournament complete with a bracket which was silly and fun.
Cruising like a champ but doesn't seem eager to walk. Related, Maeve can now say, "up!" which she asks many times a day. Maeve is very attached to me right now which means I spend what feels like many hours a day carrying an ever heavier baby. I'm not trying to rush her but I think life will be a little less physically demanding when she starts to walk. Maeve will now point to herself and say "Mah" when we ask, "Where's Maeve?" She makes a panting noise for dog, points to her ear and flies her flat hand when she hears an airplane, and sometimes tries to say "moo" for cow.
Maeve has been joining me for weekly visits to the library where she gleefully pulls many books off the shelves. I forgot how much work the library is at this age! Our library is not doing in-person story times again yet but I look forward to doing those with her in the future. We bought Maeve a water table and I love our post-nap afternoon routine of setting her up to play at it. My heart aches at the sweetness of being in a water table phase of life again.
I'm also so happy to report that Maeve's naps are going so well! She goes down great for her morning nap between 9 and 9:30 a.m. and then again around 2 p.m. Often at least one of her naps is at least an hour. She goes to bed around 6:45 p.m. and sleeps until about 5:30 a.m., often without a peep. I'm so thankful and so much better rested than I was a few months ago. Whew!
Looking forward to...
Taking the boys swimming at our favorite public pool, cold treat Wednesdays, more flexible work days for Chris, and going to Sedona with my book club.
I hope you found good things in May!